Wigan v Manchester United - does it really matter ?

Grant Holt has said Wigan Athletic won’t treat this weekend’s Community Shield with Champions Manchester United as a day out at Wembley.

The FA Cup holders have already got their league season under way with a 4-0 win away to Barnsley last weekend.

With the Latics looking to make an immediate return to the top flight under new manager Owen Coyle, this game could easily be regarded as an early distraction for them. For Manchester United manager David Moyes, however, it will be the last chance to get a look at his side before their season opener against Swansea City.

The big question is, does this fixture really matter ? It’s a one-off game, with the teams qualifying simply because they won one of the bigger prizes last season.

Mark Lawrenson once called the game a ‘glorified friendly’, with the extended amount of substitutions carrying weight to this argument. And former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said the Shield was used more for as a ‘barometer for fitness.’

Some of the more recent Community Shields have produced thrilling encounters, however, with Manchester City overcoming Chelsea 3-2 at Villa Park last season, for example.

In this case, Moyes will undoubtedly want to use this game to establish a winning mentality, and it would be a big confidence boost for Wigan if they pull off an upset and would sow the seeds for a strong Championship promotion challenge.

On reflection, this is perhaps one of the more vital Community Shields, with both teams keen to set the tone for the long season ahead.

image: © geetarchurchy

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